Xterra off-road triathlon joins Victoria race calendar

Xterra Victoria is the latest addition to the Victoria triathlon scene. And it comes with an Olympic endorsement.

Xterra Victoria is the latest addition to the Victoria triathlon scene. And it comes with an Olympic endorsement.

London Games triathlete Brent McMahon will compete in the first ever Xterra Victoria race, Sunday morning (Sept. 16) at Durrance Lake.

It’s taken race director Monique Moore and company two years to bring the off-road version of triathlon to fruition in Greater Victoria.

“It will be about 60 racers this weekend and we’re very excited to start off small,” Moore said. “We want to get people comfortable with the idea, as this is the first off-road triathlon in the well-developed triathlon community of Victoria.”

Despite never hosting a race before, Greater Victoria is known throughout the Xterra and triathlon communities as the home of Melanie McQuaid, three time Xterra world champion. McQuaid will be unavailable to compete this weekend, however.

The race begins with a 500-metre lap swim in Durrance Lake, which transitions to a 14-kilometre cross-country mountain bike course through the Mount Work/Hartland trail system, and ends with a four-km run through the Partridge Hills.

Unlike the standard distances of road triathlons, there are no set distances for Xterra races, which vary depending on the geography of the off-road trails.

Moore, a Victoria resident originally from Calgary, is a 10-time Ironman veteran and has competed at world triathlon championships in the Olympic triathlon distance. But she’s never done an Xterra, yet.

“I will definitely be doing one soon, but I was even more excited to bring one to Victoria.”

She met with Xterra Canada president Cal Zaryski, of Calgary, and the conversation immediately turned to the need to put an Xterra race on the South Island, the heart of triathlon country.

“This is an area that has world-class mountain biking, top

Canadian triathletes and athletes otherwise, and we connected around that,” Moore said.

B.C. already hosts three other Xterra races in Whistler, Kelowna and Vernon. The series is popular across Canada. The Canadian Xterra championships were held last week in Canmore, Alta., and there are two more events in Saskatchewan.

Originally, Moore and the other organizers looked at Thetis Lake, using the lesser-known mountain biking trails of upper Thetis for the cycle portion.

“But we ran into quite a few environmental roadblocks,” Moore said. “There are some commonly used cycling trails at upper Thetis but there was also some sensitivity about using the area for a race.”

The Mount Work/Hartland mountain biking trails are the most used in the area and already host Island Cup mountain biking races. The question was where to swim, and despite its smaller size, Durrance is big enough.

“Xterra Canada races are usually under 200 competitors so the main beach of Durrance will work as the transition area (from swim to bike).”

The second Sunday of September is not set in stone as an annual race date for Xterra Victoria, but because approval for the race only came through in June, and because the triathlon calendar in Victoria and southern B.C. is also pretty full, there was little choice.

“The weather is holding out, hopefully, and the temperature is still great, so the race might stay in September for next year,” Moore said.

Visit xterravictoria.ca for more information.

sports@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Long-time Central Saanich councillor named NDP candidate for Saanich North and the Islands

King, who joins election campaign one week after its start, hopes to unseat Adam Olsen

No ‘harmonious solution’ dogs on beaches in Saanich, community-led study finds

Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association present findings to council Sept. 28

Worklink march in Langford supports Orange Shirt Day

Ahousaht Prayer Song sets the tone

VicPD explains why calls for service can’t be compared to years before 2019

Department launches Open VicPD, new platform in aim to be transparent

Wetland property next to Saanich home donated for parkland through will

Brian Patriquin gained a love of nature and the environment spending time at Cedar Hill property

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read